Absurdistan: A Novel [Gary Shteyngart] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. “ Absurdistan is not just a hilarious novel, but a record of a. ABSURDISTAN. From the critically acclaimed, bestselling author of The Russian Debutante’s Handbook comes the uproarious and poignant story of one very fat. ABSURDISTAN. By Gary Shteyngart. pp. Random House. $ Why praise it first? Just quote from it — at random. Just unbutton its shirt.

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The dramatic irony building up throughout the implication t Alright. The corpulently fat, incredibly wealthy protagonist, Misha Vainberg, who narrates, is a post-Soviet Russian Jew, son of the garj richest man in Russia.

How much more difficult for an immigrant who has English as a second language. This is a satire, an irrepressible, fiery and hilarious one, but it’s also surprisingly sensuous.

Russian oligarchs are profiled, and are also funny. But of course, being written inand as the parantheticals may have indicated, it comes with the full on tongue-in-cheek self-awareness of post-post-modern literature god I hate myself just thinking that sentencewith Shteyngart appearing as a villain in the story, that is in fact the book’s greatest weakness. Misha, a fat bumbling anti-hero for our time, adores the consumerist haven that is Absurdistan’s capital clearly influenced by Abu Dhabiand even as Civil War breaks out and things start to crumble he maintains his gluttonous attitude almost to the end.

May 15, Christian Lincoln rated it really liked it. Aug 10, Sheri rated it did not like it Shelves: Shteyngartt half Mexican and Irish”.


Open Preview See a Problem? I was shtryngart this book to be a send up of the logic of nation building, war for oil and the related issues that are so deadly important in the world now. There are quite a few sex scenes that are kinky in a humorous and even strangely endearing way. Petersburg are beating him up and he’s so impervious to their punches because of how drunk and large he is that he just continues telling them the story of his life to them until they all wear themselves out and all collapse in a heap at the gate then brushing you up against some ugly and awful scenes.


Feb 04, Summer rated it it was ok. He has less depth than a cardboard cutout, and he’s too obvious a personification of the targets of Shteyngart’s clumsy and hackneyed satire. While surely some measure of artistry was necessary to have stretched such an dhteyngart satire into pages of filth, only a true dullard would find occasion to be impressed. He is apparently a rather attractive fat man.


What he finds in this country on the Caspian, cheek-by-jowl with Iran, is a place of hovels and Hyatts, swarming with workers from Halliburton which the locals, unable to aspirate an English “H,” call “Golly Burton”. The politics that affect life in Russia, the United States and the fictional republic of Absurdsvani, are really just the backdrop for a story that is at its center about a man who is trying to deal with the loss of his powerful father, develop a meaningful romantic relationship and find a sense of purpose in his personal life.

He has a unique voice, interesting plot going on, but ultimately, every time I pick up one of his I feel bored. Misha Vainberg is fat. Absurdistan is a novel by Gary Shteyngart. Russian was spoken at home, and he didn’t start speaking and writing English until his early teens.

And then there is sex that is the sort only offered or taken part in because of desperation and despair. Shteyngart’s writing is so consistently good, in fact, that it’s hard to resist the temptation to quote it at length. His quest for a US visa brings him from Russia to Absurdistan, the made-up pearl of the Caspian Sea, where he ma There’s satire and then there’s books in which everybody is horrible. Prepare to be a little disgusted.

Born in what was then the Soviet Union, Shteyngart came to the United States with his parents in at age 7. This book gets two stars instead of one because a there were some fun and funny parts, and b I can easily see how other people might really enjoy it.


Misha’s father is killed by a fellow oligarch. There is no doubting or denying that. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart

It also reminded me of Everything is Illuminated though I’d say Absurdistan is much better, no so cute and a little bit of Vernon God Little. No country escapes Shteyngart’s sharp satire. Apr 25, Daniel rated it really liked it.

Feb 03, Joe Arencibia rated it it was ok. As such he has lived a pampered life and the happiest part of that life has been spent in America. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. The novel is written as his appeal, “a love letter and also a plea,” to the Immigration and Naturalization Service to allow him to return to the States, which lovingly and hilariously follows Misha’s attempt to secure a bogus Belgian passport in the tiny post-Soviet country of Absurdistan.

And, yes, he does directly mention Dick Cheney. The sound of jump-rope double Dutch echoes on the street. An honest, declamatory style about the vulgar physicality of sex and food brings comparisons to another famous literary Jew, but Shteyngart is a full generation separated from Roth.

Where can “a sophisticate and melancholic” like Misha turn when all seems lost? As a satire though, I thought it fell a bit short. His journey is over. He’s a Jewish Russian who emigrated to America at the age of seven, and he is merciless to his own religion and nationalities.